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Coyote

de Allen Steele

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Coyote Universe (1), Coyote Trilogy (1)

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Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:Coyote marks a dramatic new turn in the career of Allen Steele, Hugo Award-winning author of Chronospace. Epic in scope, passionate in its conviction, and set against a backdrop of plausible events, it tells the brilliant story of Earths first interstellar colonistsand the mysterious planet that becomes their home.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 27 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Coyote is a well-written subluminal interstellar colonization story. Political dissidents hijack the first colonization mission to a nearby star system. The story follows their voyage and first-generation attempts to establish a viable colony. Most of the old United States has become an autocracy whose spacecraft honor such figures as Jesse Helms and George Wallace. The dissidents settle on Coyote, the moon of a ringed gas giant. The story is an episodic saga—first the escape, then the story of a man wrongly awakened in mid-voyage, then a coming-of-age planetary adventure. Allen makes the science plausible. Coyote has a believable ecology that throws plenty of challenges at his characters. He does not make his ship’s AI and robotics any stronger than necessary. He provides his colonists with satellite phones and a couple of space shuttles that work efficiently as aircraft. One could wish they were described more fully. There are maps made from orbit but no GPS network. Dated, but in its day, just as much fun as anything by Andy Weir. 4 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Sep 18, 2022 |
Pretty straightforward tale about the colonization of a remote world. Being that it's Steele, we're given copious amounts of technical detail, and events are firmly grounded in reality. This is hard SF after all.

It's one of those novels which is good enough that you start to notice its shortcomings. Why are the governments all bogeymen? When a death is foreshadowed, why are you always sure it will be one of the rapdily-disappearing unlikeable characters? How come nobody is growing penicillin? Will that baroque calendar system really work in the long-term? Why does the planet seem more like an undiscovered continent than an alien world?

But it doesn't come across as a lack of preparation. Steele goes to great pains to show that he knows things could have turned out differently, but that this combination of events is what would make for the most interesting novel. This results in a sort of blooper-reel or series of alternate endings going through the reader's head: What if nothing on the planet was edible? What if the local vegetation was not suitable for lumber or firewood? What if the soil couldn't support terran vegetables? What if a local virus found the human immune system easy prey? What if a faster ship left earth years later and had already established a colony when these guys arrived? And on and on.

So, it's a fun read. Ending was a trifle off-putting, but that just means I won't bother with the sequels. ( )
  mkfs | Aug 13, 2022 |
It took some thinking to decide whether to rate this three stars ("liked it") or four stars ("really liked it"), but ultimately its ability to draw me in and keep me glued was too inconstant for the fourth star. After a start that I found less than absorbing, but not bad, it began to really grab my attention. It cycled between high and low points of keeping my interest, where "low" was still a solid three star book overall, and ended on a very high point in terms of quality of storytelling and ability to keep me turning pages. I finished the last thirty or forty pages when I had intended to only read a few until a good stopping point while lying in bed, to give you an idea of how well it ended -- and, despite the fact it was an obvious set-up for the next book in the series, with things left undone, it still felt like a very good ending.

I'm fairly sensitive to political sensibilities in novels. Things that get too ideologically involved typically come across as caricatures in their presentation, smugly declaring some great Truths that will be unavoidably obvious to the reader if only he is willing to read, when the truth is they tend to be fatuous bloviations without a shred of convincing demonstration. While this novel has overtly political themes throughout much of the story especially in the beginning and end, with at least one subplot's temporarily dominating arc as a notable exception, it lies at neither traditional extreme in modern political discourse. It also seems to refuse to take the easy way out of ideological propagandizing represented by just settling in some kind of inoffensive, politically correct "center". It does not, however, stake out any specific nontraditional ideology either, at least explicity; only reading the following books might make me certain there is some ideological propagandizing at work. While "freedom" is a strong theme of the story, it does not come across as the propaganda-flavored Freedom with a Capital F, as defined by any major ideological orthodoxy.

Instead, the story comes across as simply chronicling the efforts of actual people who have escaped oppression, and may still face oppression in a new form, as bookends to their story, and they ultimately overcome their own ideological hang-ups to find an ethos that helps them all live together as peacefully and prosperously as their difficult circumstances allow. While Coyote could perhaps have been improved somewhat in its pacing, its presentation, and its editing, at least in some parts, it seems to promise that this series may be one of those that deserves to be called "important" for the meaning it conveys.

I have to offer a hat tip to the fact something like pre-singularity transhumanism appears in the story, and to the author's use of the simple fact that technology advances in ways many science fiction authors forget while plotting out their tales. That added a nice touch to a story where I was prepared to just shrug off the absence of something like that as a common failing of the genre, but the concession was not needed here, in a novel written more than a decade ago (judging by the dates listed in acknowledgements). ( )
  apotheon | Dec 14, 2020 |
I really wanted to like this book... an interesting premise and some good ideas, but mediocre writing. ( )
  keithostertag | Aug 30, 2020 |
(Warning: this review may contain minor spoilers.)

This fix-up novel concerns a colonising starship launched, as a vanity project, by a near-future dystopian US Government, which is hijacked by dissidents in the crew and the tech support teams so that they can escape to found a new colony free from the boot of the oppressor. Of course, not everyone is on the same side; and the world they travel to, a moon around a gas giant some 40 or so light-years from Earth, has its own quota of indigenous life-forms. Fortunately, (for the purposes of the plot), it is (mostly) capable of supporting human life. Well, there's a relief...

The local life-forms, created by the late Jack Cohen (noted British xenobiologist, responsible for the life cycle of the aliens in Alien and Niven & Pournelle's Heorot books, amongst others), can be pretty nasty, and there is a fair amount of attrition early on, though at least the colonists don't go around treating the alien world like a petting zoo. But I have to say that as the body count went up, with some characters we'd already invested some time in getting written out messily, my main reaction was to mentally cross those characters off a list. I had no empathy for them, and they did little to deserve it. For me, none of the characters came off the page or were anything more than fairly flat stereotypes.

In the final segment of the book, we meet a second wave of colonists. And: Shock! Horror! They are Communists! Or at least, collectivists. They overthrew the nasty oppressive Government not long after the first ship left, but now they've come to follow where the first ship went and collectivise them, too.

Science fiction is supposed to be a literature that explores alternatives to traditional ways of thinking; but as far as Allen Steele is concerned, when it comes to alternative political systems, he can do little more than come out with the same old stereotypes. That one group of scientists - those who planned the original flight - would just guess that an alien world would somehow be hospitable to human settlement without any firm evidence beyond photographs and spectrograms stretches credulity; that a second group would make the same assumption, and then jump further to think that a group of 100 colonists who went out four years before without a lot of agricultural machinery, just a few embryonic beasts and a supply of seeds would be ready to support another thousand colonists just stretches credibility to breaking point. Like it or not, at least Communists make plans, and those plans rely on knowing what resources you are likely to have to start with.

There are big expository lumps here and there; the Prelude in particular reads like a popular science text on detecting exoplanets, and only in its last few pages do we get a transition into the fictional future America and its politics. That the novel was assembled from short stories becomes quite clear; there is a lot of repetition, especially in characters' internal monologues about their pasts. And whilst there's a nice schematic of the starship, either the attached orbital shuttle is the size of a Boeing 747, or the ship is nowhere near as big as the novel makes it out to be.

I acquired this from a charity shop and so did not pay full price for it; on the strength of this first novel, I'll be unlikely to seek out the others in the sequence, unless I find them in the same place. Otherwise, I'll be giving this a miss. ( )
3 vote RobertDay | Aug 19, 2020 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Allen Steeleautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Frangie, RitaDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ganim, PeterNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Miller,RonArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:Coyote marks a dramatic new turn in the career of Allen Steele, Hugo Award-winning author of Chronospace. Epic in scope, passionate in its conviction, and set against a backdrop of plausible events, it tells the brilliant story of Earths first interstellar colonistsand the mysterious planet that becomes their home.

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